Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Week 18 and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

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Made it to Week 18!  And no, I don’t have a picture because we were on vacation.  I bought an onion (because I’m carrying an Onion now!), brought my calendar shirt & skirt, and forgot to take the picture.  Go figure.  Better next week.

 BabyFruit Ticker

Started feeling this little “onion” moving around at about 16 weeks… if that’s any indication, I have a feeling we’ve got a pretty active one on our hands!  Sometime this week I’ll call to schedule the ultrasound for later this month – around 20 weeks hopefully.

So, I’m not feeling sick anymore… which is my cue to start Red Raspberry Leaf Tea religiously every day until birth (get the loose leaf product I prefer here or ready-made teabags here).  Sigh… Oh how I’ve always hated that stuff… but, I love the results, so here we go again!

Why take Red Raspberry Leaf during pregnancy?  Oi… I have done some research online, and there are so many ideas & thoughts on the subject as well as varying “recipes” and dosages.  I have decided to do what I’ve always done at the recommendation of my midwife.  According to the pamphlet she gave me when I was pregnant with my first child, the tea if taken as suggested, works to strengthen & tone the uterus during pregnancy resulting in a shorter labor & delivery.  This can be found online as well, but I haven’t been able to come up with links to any “convincing” studies.  But, I feel that it’s worked for me, and I hear success stories from friends.  That’s good enough for me!  Here is a pretty thorough blog on the benefits of RRL during pregnancy.  I learned to make the tea differently than what is instructed in this blog however.  I think I’ll continue since I have experienced great results.  Those being a 4 hour first labor/delivery, 3 hours 50 minutes for the second, and 58 minutes for the third.  Those are start to finish numbers & I aim to continue the trend!  Although, a shorter than an hour labor does make me a little nervous!

That being said, I’ve always hated drinking RRLT because it’s sooo strong (probably because I brew it for so long – see below).  However… this year my Brother-in-Law gave us some of his raw honey & I started sweetening it with that (instead of Splenda as I’ve always done, but that’s always bothered me, so I started using the honey).  I was so thrilled with the taste!  Somehow I actually like it this time!  It’s really strange.  It’s hard though, because I have this mental aversion to it because of hating it for so many years.  But I’ve found the trick for me is to set it on the counter in a jar with a straw in it.  If it doesn’t have a straw, I don’t drink it!  I don’t know what that’s about.  So, I leave the stuff on the counter and will myself to take a sip every time I walk by.  This is only the first week of taking it, so maybe, because I do like the flavor with the raw honey, maybe I will be able to sit myself down with a cup of tea sometime!

If you’d like to research more about RRLT on your own, feel free, if not, here is my “recipe”!

How I make my RRLT:

First Through Second Trimesters:

  • 1/8 Cup Cut & Sifted Red Raspberry Leaf, 3 Cups Water, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Sweeten with Raw Honey, pour into mason jar, stick a straw in it, & leave it on the counter to take sips throughout the day.

Third Trimester:

  • 1/2 Cup Cut & Sifted Red Raspberry Leaf, 5 Cups Water, bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Sweeten with Raw Honey, pour into mason jar, stick a straw in it, & leave it on the counter to take sips throughout the day.

Pregnancy Week 14 & Gardening!

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Well… I’ve made it into the second trimester and only lost a couple pounds!  I’m feeling sooo much better lately, food is starting to regain it’s appeal and my appetite is horrendous!

So, this post will be totally random… updates from the life & times of just another pregnant mom who hasn’t got much of a brain anyway.

My husband & I watched the Back to Eden Film this last week and we are pumped up and totally excited to start a garden!  We did a semi-BTE garden this last year and experienced such amazing results that we figured we needed to just go all out!  We’ve already got our first load of wood chips to spread and will probably start working on that this evening.

Here’s a picture of the difference we’ve experienced with traditional gardening vs. BTE gardening.

Can you believe the difference!  It’s so lush & green and the plants are HUGE!!!

This week we also took a pepper that I’d planted in a pot at the direction of the guy at the Farmers Market.  It hadn’t grown since MAY!  Not an inch.  And only produced one little fruit about the size of a kiwi!  And the leaves were all yellow.  TWO DAYS AGO… we transplanted that same pepper into our BTE garden area… it’s grown a good THREE inches and has EIGHT buds on it!  I am soooo a believer in Paul Gautschi’s gardening method that I had to share with you!  I can’t wait to see what we can grow next season!  Ooooh the possibilities! 🙂

Pregnancy Survival Tip: EAT BREAKFAST!!!

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So far this pregnancy has been nothing but nausea.  If I cough, I lose my lunch.  If I brush my teeth, I lose it.  If I am too active, you guessed it.  I’ve been spending a LOT of time on the couch.  For a time, I keep telling myself!  This too shall pass.

So… I know one of the best things I can do for the sickies is to eat breakfast… IMMEDIATELY!  Thankfully, I have an AMAZING husband who does ALL the other morning stuff, including making the kids breakfast, while I eat a leisurely bite before the kids wake up.

I’ve always practiced this morning ritual of eating immediately after getting up… but Honey Bunches of Oats (my go to breakfast choice because it’s easy to give it up a moment later), has become sooooooo boring!  I’ve used it for four pregnancies so far and I’m.sick.of.it!!!!  But, a stroll through the cereal aisle reveals nothing more appetizing.  In fact, anything dry & bready/crunchy is rather nauseating to me this time around.

Anyway… 15 years ago (yikes!) I went to Guatemala on a short term youth group mission trip.  One thing I remember about that trip was this drink we had in the town of Holca… a small mountain town where we experienced a GINORMOUS rain & thunderstorm & slept on the concrete floor of a room with a spider in it….. A spider as big as my hand…. Let me tell you, that was the scariest night of my young life!

Oh yeah, the drink.  I’ve thought about this drink a lot since then… researched on the internet for recipes…. but could never find anything that resembled it!  I remember thinking it definitely had cinnamon in it… and some sort of grain but I couldn’t distinguish if it was barley, oat, rice or what.  So, on one particular day a couple weeks ago… after puking my guts out twice before Jesse even left for work… I browsed the internet again with a craving for this drink I remembered.  Guess what!?!?!  I FOUND IT… it’s called Mosh, and it’s a slow-cooked oatmeal with cinnamon!  Ha!

Anyway… thought I’d share with you the recipe.  I found it here, but I’ve modified the recipe slightly to make it more like what I remember.

Guatemalan Mosh

  • 1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 4.5 Cups Water
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick (these are the ones we get)
  • Mix in a saucepan & bring to a boil.

Pour into a crock pot & cook on low 4-5 hours stirring occasionally, until the oats are quite broken down & the Mosh is runny.

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Add to crock pot, stir, cook another couple hours.Allow to cool, pour into mason jars, cover & store in fridge.  In the morning, put 8oz or so in a mug, heat on stove or in microwave, and eat immediately.

If you need more protein for your morning meal (this recipe only has about 2g per serving) just add an additional cup of water & 5 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds to bring the protein up to 5g per serving!  Chia Seeds also contribute a ton of omegas which is great for pregnancy.

So, this has really helped sooo much!  Yes, I’m still super nauseous… but since I’ve switched to Mosh from HBoO I have been able to get the morning chores done before taking a break in the morning!  That alone has been quite helpful!

I hope all my preggie friends have been able to find a “miracle help” for those morning yuckies as I seem to have found.

What has been your go-to food for conquering the sickies during pregnancy?

Last but not least…

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So… in approximately 8 more months we’re adding another Nut to our Granola!  I’m going to attempt to document my granola-style pregnancy here perhaps once a month or so. Well see how that goes!

It was so hard choosing between these two photos for my Facebook Announcement cover photo today… my husband took the first one for his page & I took the second! 🙂

Little Monster… Baby #2

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Well… now we have a boy & a girl!  This little Monster was born on Saturday, February 20 early in the morning.  My pregnancy was so different than with our son… probably because he was a boy?!  Anyway, I had A LOT of false labor this time (where I had NONE with Monkey).  So I was constantly thinking, “This is it!”  Monkey was born at 38 weeks… not Monster… he waited till 41 ½ weeks before making his appearance.  Oi… it was so hard.  Note to self: don’t expect the timing to be the same every time!

On February 19th at 5pm I was having painful contractions but I didn’t bother timing them because they were far apart & irregular & not getting any more intense… and I’d had this before so I didn’t get overly excited this time.  We were at church so I was just sitting there, so at 5:30 I did start timing.  I only got one time written down before I got called out because Monkey had a fever, so I held her through the rest of the service.  I don’t think I even had any more contractions anyway.   At 9pm Jesse & I were in bed & the contractions were painful… for 1.5 hours they were 5 minutes apart & I thought they might be getting more intense so I decided to get up.  At 10pm I got up & started using my yoga ball… leaning over it on my knees.  Contractions continued to intensify.  Jesse was still sleeping & I decided to let him sleep since if this was it, he was going to be one busy dad for the next week or so.  At 10:30pm I was pretty sure it was labor so I started laying out all the birth supplies on the kitchen table. Got the coffee station & snacks set up for people who would be here.  Contractions became even more intense & were 2 minutes apart.  Got Jesse up… called the midwife (Carrie).  Carrie & Becky would come in 30 minutes.

At 11pm Carrie arrived. Contractions were too intense to talk through.  I stayed on the ball until I got in the pool we set up in the living room.  I was only feeling a slight urge to push.  I drank some orange juice because I was feeling faint.  At 1am I got in the pool… I was 9cm.  The urge to push was getting stronger… and I was SCARED.  I tore a little bit with Monkey and had to get a bunch of stitches.  I was so nervous that it would happen again.   Even though Carrie told me I could work with the urge to push, I still fought it.  Somewhere in there I started feeling really nauseous & threw up that orange juice … from between contractions right through the next one.  Ugh… that was awful.  NOTE TO SELF: Don’t ever drink orange juice when in labor.  During contractions & in between I was alert enough mentally this time to pray, read the titles of the worship songs playing on the TV, & concentrate on keeping my tones low or just blowing air.  The contractions were further apart in the pool so I got more of a break between, but they were more intense.

At 1:30am Carrie said that the bag of waters was bulging enough that if I gave one hard push & it would break & the Monster would come really soon.  I pushed, beyond the contraction a little, until it broke.  The little Monster’s head flew forward & I felt it crown. My back started to hurt soooo bad.  Carrie told me to just float in the water, so I let my hips rise & just float. The next pushes… SERIOUS pain!  Ring of fire seemed more intense than with Monkey. There was also an awful stinging pain inside that when Carrie poked her finger in to check, ended up being the little Monster’s hand & fingernails scraping me on the way out.  When she touched his hand, he grabbed her finger!  During the delivery of his head I clung to Jesse’s arms behind me struggling to keep my tones low.  I think I pushed about five times to deliver his head & one arm.  When his head came I was finally able to release Jesse’s arms because that awful stinging pain from his hand was over.  Then between that last head push & the next contraction I touched the little Monster’s head & face & little hand.  It was precious.  I could tell he had hair just like Monkey did.  The next contraction I was holding his head & neck with my hands & I pushed & pushed & pushed until he finally popped out & I brought him up out of the water onto my chest.  THAT was incredible! I got to catch him myself!

Shortly after the little Monster was born & we were out of the pool, Monkey (15 months old) woke up. Jesse brought her out to meet her little brother.  She kept signing “Baby… baby… baby” and looking at him with the cutest little expressions on her face.

By 4am we were all back in bed for the rest of the night.  Carrie & Becky were gone & would return in the morning to check on us.

I am so glad we chose to have our little Monster at home.  It would have been free to have him at the hospital with Medicade, but then we would have been stuck in the hospital for however long & I wouldn’t have been able to catch him myself or birth in the water.  I am sooo thankful we were at home.  I was comfortable, it was peaceful, familiar & our Monkey could be there too to see her little brother when he was first born.  I wouldn’t trade my homebirth for anything.  We’ll do it again when #3 happens!!  I also feel so strong & powerful after birthing naturally.  I feel like I am the strongest woman in the world… like I can do anything! It’s an amazing empowering feeling.

Our Little Monkey… Baby #1

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I had just started working a new job at our church & had worked for two weeks… when I found out I was pregnant again.  This time we had insurance so we were going to go to a doctor.  In the weeks before the first appointment I started coughing.  I wasn’t sick, just coughing.

At 9 weeks, I experienced the same symptoms i had experienced with our first baby… all my pregnancy signs went away – no more morning sickness, no more sleepiness… I got really scared.  I went to the doc & he did an ultrasound & found the baby & the heartbeat.  I was relieved.  However, over the course of the first trimester he just kept prescribing medications for the cough that the pharmacists would say were not good for the baby.  On top of that, I was just not comfortable with the doctor.  So, I called Dayspring & made an appointment!  I was so relieved to be in the care of people I felt cared about me & my baby.  I later discovered that the cough was due to acid reflux from being pregnant!

All my care at Dayspring was so wonderful.  The massages were so relaxing (thanks Susie!), my doula (thanks Becky!) was a wonderful support, Inga was amazingly encouraging and supportive.  On top of that, I felt very supported & encouraged in my desire to have a natural drug-free pregnancy & birth.

I quit working as planned on November 7th which was the first day I really felt any Braxton Hicks contractions.  I didn’t think much of it since I was only 38 weeks.  Then on Saturday, I had the contractions all day.  Nothing was painful, so again I thought nothing of it.  I went to Costco, bought all the stuff I thought I’d need for a long labor (my mom took 26 hours with me), & on the way home, the car broke down.  So, Jesse & I stayed up Saturday night changing out the alternator!  I held the flashlight & he swapped out the bad alternator for a good one!  We went to bed at about 10pm.

I slept soundly that night until about 1:30am when I started to toss & turn.  I got up thinking I didn’t want to wake Jesse up.  I started myself a pot of hot cereal because I was so hungry & while waiting for that, I lay down on the couch to read my Bible when all of a sudden I felt a very painful “spasm” in my cervix.  Then, a gush of fluid!  My eyes popped open… I just laid there in shock for a couple minutes & then got up.  My eyes still wide open, I laid down on the bed next to Jesse trying to figure out how to tell him our little Monkey’s birthday was going to be today!  I gently pushed on his shoulder… in a sense I didn’t want to say it because I was so afraid that it was time… was I going to be able to do this?  Was the pain going to be too much for me?  How long would it take?  Finally I got up the courage (after a couple painful contractions) to wake Jesse up.  He asked me if I should call Becky.  I said I didn’t really want to call her now because it was probably going to take a long time & I might as well just wait until it wasn’t such an ungodly hour of the day.  Thirty minutes later I decided to call!  Becky said to give it a little time & to trust my instincts & call her if I wanted to come in.  I really wanted to stay at home as long as possible.  Again, 30 minutes later, I called her up & said I was coming in!  We met at Dayspring at 4:30am.  I started pushing at 5:45am.  One of my worst fears was being a “screamer”, so the first couple times I started to scream I would clap my hand over my mouth!  I think I even shouted out during a contraction that I was doing this without drugs… I remember Inga laughing!  Forty minutes later our little Monkey was born & as beautiful as ever!  She was a healthy, 7 pound 5 ounce little girl with the thickest dark black hair you’ve ever seen!  She was perfect.  She is perfect!

Our little Monkey is such a blessing.  I hung her picture on the wall next to Gabriel’s … our little growing family.

I have so much to thank God & the team at Dayspring for.  They supported me through the pain of our first pregnancy & were an amazing support & encouragement through this one.  Their calm professionalism at the birth kept me focused & confident.  I knew I could do it… just one more push… just one more push.  And then, the little Monkey was born!  I did it!  The feeling of accomplishment was so strong.  I felt like a stronger woman on the way home!  Oh, that reminds me… we went HOME at 11:30am – when our Monkey was just 5 hours old!  I got to go home!  That was a beautiful thing.  I couldn’t stop talking to Jesse on the way home about how beautiful our little girl was & how I couldn’t believe that I had done that!  Naturally… no drugs.  So many people along the way told me that I’d give in & ask for drugs.  I’m so thankful that I pushed through the pain & did what was best for my baby.

LaLa… Baby #3

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This is the story of the birth of our third child.  She was a Mother’s Day baby.

PRE-LABOR

Who knows when “pre-labor” was… I suppose I could say three weeks ago it started!!  I tried timing contractions at Costco at lunchtime on Mother’s Day, but I’d forget to push the stop button on the timer so I couldn’t really tell if they were getting longer, stronger, closer together!  I quit timing because it just wasn’t painful enough to be considered labor.

At 4:00ish I laid on the couch to rest & read Monkey & Monster a story.  Monkey was sitting on my shoulders, Monster on my hips as I laid on my side on the couch reading a book.  Then I got a phone call from the sprinkler guy & I was talking to him & the kids were crawling all over me.  Shortly after I got off the phone I felt a large POP!  I swear I could almost hear it. …

LABOR

POW!!!  “Oh my gosh, I think my water just broke!”

Jesse from the bathroom: “What?! Are you sure?”

“Pretty sure, just a sec.”  I stand up and GUSH!  “Um… yes, that’s affirmative, can I use the bathroom?

Monkey (turning 2½ the next day) follows me into the bathroom & notices my undies on the floor.  She leaves & in a second comes back with more undies & then grabs a pad from under the sink!  Anyway, I sit there for about three minutes texting my birth team (photographer, videographer, babysitter).  Then I get up, and before I got to the kitchen table, I was having a brutal contraction.  Now THIS is worth of timing!  Time to call the birth crew!!!  Ha ha!

So, I called, and got a voicemail… one of the midwives’ personal voicemail.  I just hung up and called again.  Same thing, so I left a message.  She called back soon after & I started blabbing … she interrupted and said, “Honey, I don’t have the phone.”  Okay… so how did I just call her… anyway… phone patched through to the wrong persons personal line.  She called the midwife on duty and a second later Inga called me… at which point I was in the middle of another doozie.  Inga said, “Hard at work?”  I said, “Ugh!”  She said, “On my way, go lay on the couch.”  So I did!  And how much I hated laboring lying down!  It was AWFUL!  A couple contractions after lying down I said, “I need to push!”  Jesse said, “Don’t you dare!”

So, I have no idea what time people started showing up… I was just in the middle of all this mayhem… trying to keep track of Monkey (2½ years) & Monster (14½ months) while Jesse got the pool set up & all the labor/birth supplies out, all while trying to monitor the turkey we had in the oven for dinner!  Monster was getting into the pump for the pool so Monkey “babysat” him while Jesse was busy!  It was chaotic to say the least.  I was in HARD labor, all of a sudden!  Jesse ended up asking the kids to stay on the couch, where they stayed until Lorie (friend & babysitter!) arrived.

So… I think the first person to arrive was Kim and she started helping out with the setup.  Then Inga arrived.  I made some comment about how much I hated being on the couch.  Inga said I could get up, she just didn’t want LaLa arriving before she did!  So I got up & knelt before my birth ball.  The relief was incredible.  Between contractions I talked to my kids who were still obediently sitting on the couch.  Monster was pretty traumatized, eyes as wide as saucers.  I wish I could have hugged him & loved on him some, but the contractions were coming too fast.

Finally, Lorie arrived (my friend, babysitter!)… the kids could be out of the room, and I could concentrate on the task at hand.

Everyone was still scurrying around the room setting up… Jesse was hauling hot water from the bathtub in a large pot while the hose tried desperately to fill the pool from the sink! Brittany was snapping pictures & shooting video.  Inga & Kim were testing the water & doing whatever else they do to get ready!  It was a race!  I was pushing, hard, but trying not to!  Inga finally said I could get in the pool but I’d have to sit because there wasn’t quite enough water.  I didn’t care… but I’d have to have this one more contraction out of the water.  Dang it!

As I lowered myself into the water I felt waves of relief wash over me!  Aaaaahhhh… I can do this… again!  It was so intense… I hadn’t had time to “get in the zone”… I didn’t have time to think!  It was just happening so fast.  A few contractions later I felt for her head inside of me & was surprised that she was so close.  A little later… the ring of fire hit & in the middle of a contraction I squeaked, “She’s coming already!”  I was so surprised!  As I pushed her head began to emerge.  I held her half-way out clear through to the next contraction.  Then I pushed, her head came, I gave another push & there she was!  Jesse & Inga both looked at the clock & said “58 mintues!”  Yeesh!

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I tell you what, I’m glad I plan on delivering at home!  LaLa would have been born somewhere on the freeway or in the hospital lobby had not been a home-birther!

LaLa’s’ birth was the most intense of all three births… exciting, chaotic, rushed… but at the same time there was the peace & comfort of being in my own home knowing that I was being taken care of by people I loved & trusted.  I had no fear during the whole process, even though I wasn’t able to get into that place of complete control because I didn’t have time to get there.  It was a beautiful experience that I will never forget!  And the best Mother’s Day present ever!  I’m so thankful for my LaLa!